Florian Bengert studied architecture at KIT, graduating with distinction in 2017. His master’s thesis, which examines the smartphone as the New Architecture Machine of the twenty-first century, was awarded the Friedrich Weinbrenner Prize 2017, which honors outstanding theses. He is currently a PhD candidate at the KIT Chair for Theory of Architecture, where his research deals with architectural designs in the context of the patent system. His focus of interest is on the cultural logic of the digital era and the resulting role of the architect. In 2016, he co-organized the lecture series “LIVE LOVE ARCH – Towards a Methodic Optimism” at KIT: in it, he discussed positions, potentials, and strategies for the current production of architecture with Dogma, BeL, and Fala Atelier, among others. Funded by the scholarship program of the Sto Foundation and the ARCH+ Förderverein, he was part of the Berlin-based ARCH+ editorial team in 2016/2017. In 2018, he was project assistant for the projekt bauhaus Werkstatt / Datatopia Summer School at Floating University in Berlin. In 2012, he participated in the exhibition 40,000 hours at the 13th Architecture Biennale in Venice. Further projects have been shown at various international venues such as the Future Architecture Platform (Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana, 2017), the Haus der Architektur (Graz, 2017), MAXXI – the National Museum of XXI Century Arts (Rome, 2017), and the Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (Seoul, 2017).
A Smarthome is Not a Smart Home. Über das zukünftige Zuhause
Throughout our lives, we are all looking for the one space we can call home. A place giving us the feeling of having arrived. This yearning is probably one of the most primal human desires, and at the same time a basic theme of any architectural work. The personal idea of what exactly it means to “arrive” and the resulting spatial answers are subject to the same changes over the course of time. However, it has become clear that such progress does not follow any social logic or, more importantly, any technological logic. Therefore, in order to address the question of what a viable sustainable city might look like in future high-tech eras, there must be detailed discussion about what urban homes have to provide and the extent to which we can talk about “smartness” in this context. Do we still have traditional typologies like house and rented apartment in mind, or is the bed we are commuting to every day (be it our own or an unfamiliar one) the last vestige of this feeling of “having arrived”? Or has the feeling already been reduced to the availability of a fast Internet connection and the use of our smartphone? It is evident that the digital communication technologies with their abstract information spaces are gradually converting and re-encoding our physical reality. Borders are becoming increasingly blurred; classic architectural elements such as walls and doors are losing their operational character in this present. These developments open up new perspectives and tasks for architecture and require a revision of its tools at the interface between the physical and the digital world. This is nothing more than the search for smart alternatives for walls and doors.